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After we got a view into the realities the Black Mercy plants created for Superman and Batman in previous issues, Trinity #4 turns its focus to Wonder Woman, in an issue that succeeds both in revealing Wonder Woman’s character and role within the Trinity while still advancing the plot towards new developments and revelations. In this way, the issue succeeds in maintaining the warm yet incisive look at our heroes while still delivering an intriguing mystery soon to be resolved.
Trinity #4 follows Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as they remain under the spell of the Black Mercy plants, which generate a shared hallucinatory state. Each of the visions they share examine in some fundamental way, the origins and psyches of each hero. In this issue the trio find themselves on Themyscira, home of the Amazons, ostensibly in the past when Wonder Woman was simply a girl named Diana. The trio quickly find themselves captured by the Amazons and put through challenges before a choice by Diana leads them all down a darker path and perhaps closer to who’s behind their predicament.
Writer Francis Manapul and artist Emanuela Lupacchino have crafted a strong and enjoyable issue, illustrating the vital role that Diana plays within the Trinity. In a way, she is the one most in touch and at peace with who she is and what she wants, giving her a clarity that Superman and Batman often don’t possess. It’s why discerning truth is such an important part of her character. It’s fitting, therefore, that she’s the one who discovers that whatever is happening to them, its purpose is to uncover who the three of them are in primal ways.
Once the action and intrigue kicks in, of course, the creative team effectively illustrates that Wonder Woman’s particular brand of certainty can also be a weakness, in that once she has decided on a course, she can charge right ahead without fear or caution.
But despite all this introspection into character, Trinity #4 never loses sight of the overarching narrative, whether it’s through a quick cutaway to reality and Lois’ efforts to help her family, or through the classics-inspired descent into the Dark Quarters that leads to monsters, betrayal and a possible revelation. The strength of the issue is how the examination of Wonder Woman as a character never distracts from the overall momentum of the plot, which continues to move forward and build towards a climax. This climax is not surprising, though it is still effective, and sets up well a confrontation that is bound to deliver some action.
The art on display fits the tone and tenor of the book, with its classical style, perfectly. It’s big, bold and bright super-hero adventure, a style that DC does better than anyone else in the biz, and the art team here nails a feeling that wouldn’t be miles away from the approach of classic DC artists like George Perez, Phil Jimenez or Howard Porter. There’s a lot of detail throughout, never feeling rushed or sketchy. The layouts are wonderful, and each character looks individual and distinct.
Let me just say this, though. DC Comics. I know the movie version ditched them, but please, please, PLEASE give Superman back his red shorts and boots. I appreciate that he’s no longer wearing armor. But this outfit vacillates between looking dull and somehow looking MORE like a leotard than ever. Seriously. It somehow looks both boring and perverted at the same time. This outfit looks like the porn parody version of a Superman suit that’s been altered just enough to avoid getting sued. Rant over.
As for Trinity #4, it’s a great issue, even if the series remains a bit low-key and introspective, it offers solid examinations of its icons while still maintaining an intriguing and engaging mystery at its core. 8.5/10